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Buford Schools get new digs

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman. Buford City Schools opened a new central office, which houses the school district's administration.

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman. Buford City Schools opened a new central office, which houses the school district's administration.

BUFORD -- Pat Pirkle waited for an administrative building for Buford City Schools for almost 49 years.

Now that one has been built, she's overjoyed.

"This is my dream come true, it really is," the Buford Board of Education member said Monday at an open house for the school system's new Central Office.

Pirkle, who worked for the school system from 1960 to 1993, said the superintendent's office was housed in many locations throughout the years -- a high school building, an elementary school building, a middle school building, an empty building -- but a permanent home wasn't constructed until recently.

"Classrooms came first," she said. "The schools came first. We were not ready to build."

A couple of months ago, the central office staff moved from a former school building on Wiley Drive to a state-of-the-art, $3.5 million facility on Sawnee Avenue.

"It was our time to build," Pirkle said.

Pirkle said she's particularly proud of two things. One, the school system has no trailers. The school board made sure the district's classroom needs were met before starting work on the Central Office. Two, the board incurred no debt in constructing the facility. It was paid for through revenue from a special purpose local option sales tax.

"It's just a pride and joy for us," Pirkle said of the new building.

Superintendent Geye Hamby said the school board did a fine job of making sure the district's four schools were in adequate shape before building an administrative office.

"We are absolutely thrilled to be in our new facility," he said. "... It provides for an excellent working environment."

The new building also contains room for the school district to grow. There are a few empty offices inside.

"We designed long term," Hamby said. "In the event that the school system grows, as it will, and as our personnel grows, we can accommodate accordingly."

School board chairman Phillip Beard said community members who wish to see the building are welcome to visit.